Steel scores excellently across the sectors
There must be very few investments made these days where sustainability isn’t a central feature of the project’s plans. It is hard to imagine a project where sustainability doesn’t feature making its way into the pages of New Steel Construction; not because they would be banned, but because we just don’t seem to come across any.
Clients of constructional steelwork have always benefitted from the widest range of sustainability advantages available from any construction material, often without realising the full value of what steelwork contractors were delivering. Today of course it would be difficult to raise funding for a project that didn’t properly embrace sustainability – nobody in the construction supply chain wants to risk the reputational damage that would be associated with failing to take all practical steps to combat climate change.
The projects in this month’s issue’s news and features pages may be geographically diverse but they are linked by a common thread of facilitating sustainable development, and across a wide range of market sectors. They also qualify for a wide range of sustainability accreditations, from the various BREEAM levels, through EPC ‘A’ ratings for net zero carbon in operation, WELL certifications for providing work environments that promote wellness, and NABERS energy efficiency ratings.
In Stockport we can see how weathering steel provides a footbridge that is a key link for a fully integrated transport network supporting local councils and transport authorities in an ambitious regeneration scheme. Steel made this logistically challenging project ‘look very easy’, as you can read.
Steel is featuring on a major transport scheme in Belfast, known as Belfast Grand Central Station, that will be Ireland’s biggest integrated transport facility. The steel-framed development will also promote sustainable travel and be crucial in shaping the future of the city as it forms the centrepiece of a new neighbourhood.
In Nottingham an industrial and logistics park comprising six steel-framed buildings that will all achieve BREEAM ‘Very Good’ ratings is regenerating a former tobacco factory site. The park’s sustainability credentials, helped by the use of steel and by 98% of the old factory site’s materials being recycled and reused, will be a key factor in attracting the high quality tenants the developers are targeting.
Sustainability increasingly isn’t enough on its own to provide the office spaces that modern workforces expect, and we see the impact of a new focus on ‘wellness’ on an office development at Worship Square in London that aims at a WELL ‘Platinum’ Building Standard certification as well as BREEAM ‘Outstanding’. Steel’s flexibility comes into its own as developers aim to provide a range of collaborative and flexible workspaces and leisure facilities while reducing embodied carbon to less than half of current benchmarks.
Another office project aiming at high wellness qualities and a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating can be seen at City Square House in Leeds, benefitting from steel’s unique ability to economically provide flexible, open-plan floorplates on what has been hailed locally as a world-class space.
This month in News we read about a net zero carbon in operation office building in Manchester that will aim at BREEAM ‘Excellent’ as a minimum, and will also aim at achieving a NABERS energy efficiency Design for Performance rating of 5.5 stars or better. Whatever the project’s sustainability ambitions, steel seems to have the first choice solutions.